Science fiction is an established genre, and it''s more than just laser swords, ships, and time travel. It''s also about human nature, ethics, technology, and looking to the future to reflect on our present. Even with the most fantastical outings like Star Wars, all of the best science fiction stories do this.
Much of the sci-fi we love today was heavily influenced by the classic anime from the 1980s and 1990s, like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, which remain the mediums focal point today. Netflix has many fantastic titles in this regard, and many of them are as one of the finest they can offer in any medium.
''''Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion''''
As a result of the United States'' Revolutionary War, Brittania took over most of the world, one of the best subgenres of science fiction is speculative fiction. Code Geass is one such example, following a young exiled prince who attempts to flee Brittania as revenge for killing his mother.
It''s notable difference, given that Lelouch never ceases to fight for the greater benefit while his actions might end up being too conflictable for some, but it''s the fact that he always fights fascism at every turn that keeps him interesting and likable.
Cowboy Bebop, a slick fantasy based on a group of bounty hunters and "cowboys" who travel the solar system for their next paycheck, is often misunderstood for their jobs and rarely gain ground.
The kaleidoscopic program ties neo-noir, western, and dramatic story-telling, which is captured on a punchy, jazzy, bluesy soundtrack. Cowboy Bebop is truly in a league of its own.
Fairy Tail, Hiro Mashima''s previous anime, was developed into a science fiction anime on Netflix, but it is now in space. The show is as science fantasy as you can get while still keeping it strictly in the sci-fi realm, featuring humans, aliens, robots, time paradoxes, weird spaceships, and tons of futuristic technology.
Yet, it still stands out from Fairy Tail enough to express its own identity. It''s more of a lengthy quest, unlike that series, and the first season that has broadcasted uses its space-faring story to create a fascinating, unique world that feels similar to any other sci-fi series right now.
Godzilla: Singular Point
Although Godzilla has reintroduced in North America and Japan, it was only a matter of time before Godzilla would make his way back to anime for the first time. Singular Point is a well-known film that reveals a more human-based view of the Godzilla mythos.
In the face of its complicated science and philosophy, acclaimed science fiction writer Toh EnJoe feels at home with Philip K. Dick''s works. Despite that, or perhaps because of that, you''ll never see anything like it, but nonetheless manages to mix in great monster sequences.
Even anime fans alike, the Gurren Lagann is one of the most accessible of the bunch. Set in the far future where humanity has been pushed underground, our story follows a group of freedom fighters who use a mecha called the Gurren to fight against an oppressive regime.
The most entertaining, absolutely incredible series audiences can imagine, filled with expressive animation and outstanding fight scenes. However, the real concern is that it never forgets the story and characters at its core, and by the end, you''ll be weeping alongside them.
Kill la Kill
The film, Kill La Kill, isn''t a science fiction project, but it is a fantastic one to boot. Set in an alternate history where the Nazis won World War II, the show follows a girl named Ryuko Matoi, who is looking for her father.
To say that more would be giving away too much, but suffice to say that since Kill La Kill is done by Trigger and the same creators as Gurren Lagann, it''s subtiably off-the-rails. The action sequences are stunning, and the actual story goes in an unexpected, emotional direction that explores the implications of a fascist society and gender norms.
''''Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans''''
While Gundam has had numerous entries, Iron-Blooded Orphans is a great standalone entry that does not require prior knowledge to enjoy. Mars has been terraformed and is populated by humanity. A group of juvenile soldiers establish their own security company and rebel against the government that was betrayed them.
Iron-Blooded Orphans is one of Gundam''s most dark entries and one of its best. Mari Okada''s writing is sublime, and Tatsuyuki Nagai expertly directs them. It offers you a ton of meat to chew on when it comes to terrorism and child soldiers.
''''Neon Genesis Evangelion''''
Neon Genesis Evangelion, who will finish all mechas, is set in a world ravaged by beings known as Angels and follows the young teenage pilots who are charged with their defense. The defining work of anime and maybe animation as a whole, Evangelion is perhaps Hideaki Anno''s magnum opus, which influenced the production.
From its simple beginning to the terrifying and unsettling ending, Evangelion is far more than a simple mecha series. It''s also a deconstruction of the anime genre as a whole, weaving into its mythos while also telling an extremely personal tale that reflects Anno''s beliefs about life at the time. Anime is very rarely more impactful and laid bare than this.
''''Tiger & Bunny''''
While My Hero Academia took on the anime world by storm, another superhero show managed to sneak through the cracks a couple of years earlier. Tiger & Bunny presents a future where heroes are corporatized and monetized organizations put their names on heroes like it''s nothing, and two heroes are forced to collaborate as part of a publicity campaign.
The following is a hilarious, satirical look at capitalism through the eyes of superhero stories while also a fun blast of a time in its own right. It benefits from developing being a superhero and keeps it as realistic as possible while simultaneously not lowering the outrageous golden age vibes it is having a fun time with.
Ultraman is still evolving as a series since the late ''60s, but each series stands on its own, and its first significant anime adaptation is the same way. While it is still a legacy sequel to Ultraman from 1966, this new series is accessible to new readers as it follows a brand new Ultraman and his battles against aliens invading Earth.
Ultraman is one of the best CG anime on the market right now because of its taking advantage of the tokusatsu style''s shortcomings. Plus, it''s a great introduction point for those unfamiliar with the genre and a great showcase of what it has to offer.